The most amazing thing happened to my sister and I on Wednesday night. We were sitting in our waaaaaaaay up high nosebleed seats at the United Center, anxiously awaiting the start of the Coldplay concert whilst thumbing through the official Mylo Xyloto Tour program. I was reading an interview with lead singer Chris Martin where he discussed his long held disdain for corporate sponsors taking up the prime floor seats at his shows with their stiff suits and stingy inability to have any sort of fun.
I was reading about how the band prevented that from ever happening again by sending their roadies into the rafters before the show to find their REAL fans and bringing them down, front and center.
Then a man tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Excuse me, are you a big Coldplay fan?” with a delightful English accent. “Why don’t you come with me, I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
HOLY BALLS, I thought to myself.
A few album name drops, a reciting of “Chris, Guy, Will and Johnny” and a proud display of the custom-made shirts my sister made for us that boasted our favorite Coldplay lyrics later, and this kind English gentlemen handed us two comped tickets. TO THE FRONT FRIGGIN ROW!!!
My sister started crying with joy, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, and before I knew it, we were standing just a few feet away from one of the most fun, visual and musically stimulating concerts I’ve ever seen. All around us were other gracious, seemingly dreaming uberfans plucked down from the rafters. Every single one of us sure to remember that night in full, forever and ever.
I wonder if Major League teams have ever considered doing something like this for their fans. I am guessing no. But wouldn’t it be nice? Wouldn’t it be nice if our favorite big league clubs would simply do us a kindness? I’m pretty sick of seeing stuffy suits, collagen-plugged faces and Scott Boras sitting directly behind homeplate.
A man can dream right? Hey, sometimes, dreams come true.
We all have something to say. The difference is in how and when we choose to say it.
The nice thing about blogging is that we get to say it when we want to and, with the exception of a few words that our hosts choose to censor, we get to say what we want.
The Freedom of Speech guaranteed under the Bill of Rights is arguably the most powerful right we have as Americans. It’s the reason Orel Hershiser can thank god after winning a game and the reason why I can tell him that god doesn’t exist. It’s the reason A-Rod and his agent can announce a contract extension during the middle of a World Series in which he isn’t playing and it’s also the reason why I can say that I think A-Rod and his agent are both worthless kangaroo placentas.
Around this time of year the debate over what constitutes free speech ratchets up another level, though. Political adversaries regularly find a way to push their constitutional freedoms to illogical extremes. It’s not enough to say you disagree. If you can’t figure out how to disagree and simultaneously accuse your opponent of raping and/or clubbing baby seals, you’re just not doing your job.
That’s why I choose to stand aside from name-calling and ad hominem attacks this post-season and political season. I will not mention the Yankees’ illegal dog-fighting ring in which they set underfed terriers against various members of the Royals’ bullpen unless I have proof. And I refuse to talk about Joe Biden and Christine O’Donnell’s secret Wiccan connection until no doubt remains in my mind to its veracity.
Additionally, I call on my co-blogger, Mr. Lung, to publicly announce his willingness to toe this line. That is, if he’s not too busy fantasizing about he and Albert Pujols holding hands while clubbing and/or raping baby seals.
Yes, dear readers, I know that we still have at least 15 more months before Mayan legend is set to destroy the universe, but I’m afraid ruination and chaos might already be here, making 2012 moot.
Don’t believe me?
O’Donnell strategy: time’s limited;use it 2 connect w/local voters whom
you’ll be serving vs appeasing nat’l media seeking ur destruction
Yes, Christine! Seeking… your… destruction! Bwahhhhhhhhhh! Me want freedom to touch myself! Me want witchcraft-free Delaware! Me want answer to Teabagging claim of fiscal responsibility despite inability to pay back your college loans! Bwahhhhhh! How dare we demand such clarity! Bwahhhhhh!
Gotta be a sign of the apocalypse.
If not that, then how about the colossal union of two universally disliked MLB wormbags? That’s right, folks. Jayson Werth (and his beard) have teamed up with Scott Boras to form the sort of free agent chimera that will have everyone talking more zeroes ad nauseum this winter. Look, I get it. Dude wants to get paid. No problem with that. But for someone whom the public has already deemed a megafortified jerk, it seems like hiring the sleaziest of the bunch to fetch that money might not have been the best public relations move. Oh, and it also means he won’t be an Angel next season.
The Angels handcuffed into quelling big time free-agent magic? Gotta be a sign of the apocalypse.
Of course, nothing can predict the end of the world is near better than our US American justice system playing host to a caffeine insanity defense, in a murder trial! Sorry, your honor. Two Jolt colas and a bottle of Ride-the-Snake diet pills and I just couldn’t STOP MYSELF FROM MURDERING MY ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD!
It is no secret that I am a caffeine addled man myself. But I would never use that as an excuse to kill someone. Insult my going-nowhere Redbirds and maybe we can talk creative defense strategies, but to blame it on caffeine?
There’s no other explanation, folks. It’s gotta be another sign.
So go ahead and hate me ‘cuz time’s runnin’ out. Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
And so in this Podcast…
Jeff and Johanna welcome a paragon of baseball intelligentsia, Mr. Paul Lebowitz — the one and only Prince of New York! If you aren’t already reading the Prince’s daily column *here* or *here* then you probably should get on that. Like, right away. Or else. And if that ain’t enough, you can certainly follow him on Twitter too. To be honest, the man is too ruthless and too unfettered for you to not be paying attention to him… so the RSBS crew made sure to get him at his best. Among the titillating
topics of discussion: Jason Bay’s UZR, men left on base (LOB), Keith Hernandez’s hunches, BRAINS!!!!… the Lou Piniella Mailbag and much, much more!
to the RSBS Podcast by clicking *HERE*
via iTunes by clicking *HERE*
thanks to Keith Carmack — our engineer, director, editor and
all-around sound guru. His Undercast podcast is the bomb shizzy, by the way. It’s available on iTunes and is posted regularly at Undercard Films.
**Image by Annette T. (Thanks, Annette!) Check out her sweet@ss blog!
Recorded Saturday , June 12, 2010
A long time ago, in a popped culture far, far away (let’s call it the late ’90s), there was a “talented” young fella by the name of Ma$e tearing up the hip-hop scene with sub-par sleight of hand wit and a mouthful of mushy homonyms.
You may remember him (probably not) for bringing us this gem:
Broken glass everywhere
if it ain’t about the money, Puff, I just don’t care
I’m that Goodfella fly guy, sometimes wiseguys
Spend time in H-A-W-A-I-I
(Mase can you please stop smoking lah lah?)
Puff why try? I’m a thug, I’ma die high
I be out in Jersey, puffin Hershey
Brothers ain’t worthy to rock my derby
Though I’m never drugged, I’m the venom in the club
And now he’s just venom in our memory banks. But why? Let’s take a look:
Ma$e’s main talent was convincing people that he had talent. I believed it. Sean Combs believed it. The general public believed it. In fact, there was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing a Ma$e tune. Had he the vision to keep that reality in perspective, to join powers with the then still venerable Puff Daddy, we might be talking about Ma$e as a musical superpower right now!
But we’re not.
Because Ma$e went to Ma$e’s head and at his highest of high points, Ma$e left the one label that could make him an internationally hyped megastar. No one would take him on. He floundered. Then he disappeared all together. He decided to do something different…
…by becoming a preacher?
Yep. At least, that’s the story we got.
A few years (and lots of bounced checks) later, Ma$e came crying back to the rap game… hands open, knees scarred, willing to accept any deal he could get… anything… he was signed by SRC Records.
But the problem with SRC Records was this: they couldn’t release his music because Ma$e was still contractually obligated to — yep, you guessed it — Sean “Puff Daddy/P-Diddy” Combs.
The moral of the story?
Ma$e is an idiot.
Matt Holliday, you’re not far behind.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Since writing this, Matt Holliday has agreed to a 7 year deal with
the Cardinals for $120 million. That’s mo’ money, mo’ problems… but
probably worth it. Good for you, Matt!
As the holiday spirit settles in here at RSBS, we’re starting to get a little excited. In fact, there’s a really good chance that this is the year we get that Red Ryder BB gun we’ve been asking for since 1983. However, as we sit here staring at the gifts under the tree, we thought we could present you with a gift of our own. The interns did a bunch of work coming up with the list and now we just want you to enjoy it. So, enjoy!
The Santa Clause
Only a hardcore DB like Boras could appreciate the fine print of a contract that makes you take over Santa’s duties if you should happen to be instrumental in his demise. Hell, he probably wrote the contract. On the bright side, at least Scotty hasn’t taken over as Santa…..yet.
The Kansas City Royals
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A ragtag band of kids who are all castoffs from one place or another gather around a depressingly bare Christmas tree. If that doesn’t describe KC’s fortunes, I don’t know what does. And just wait until Greinke blows town.
It’s A Wonderful Life
So, how many times have you not made the playoffs in your career? And how many World Series rings have you won? Yeah, I’m pretty sure you could give George Bailey a run for it in the Wonderful Life department.
Tie: Scrooged and A Christmas Carol
However, he turns it off before the main characters have a change of heart. No room for sentimentality when there are small children and their parents who could be paying more for tickets and concessions. How much more? Get on that, Cratchett. And will you stop blubbering about your goddamn gimpy kid?
Miracle on 34th Street
Sometimes when Barry is falling asleep at night, he imagines the postal service delivering thousands of letters to him in a courtroom and the judge declaring him the real home run king. Wake up, Barry. You’re still just a lousy cheat.
So, there you have it. If you ever wondered what a professional baseball player does at this time of the year, you have your answer. As for us, we’ll be splitting a bowl of popcorn and hoping that oblong shaped box doesn’t somehow put our eye out.
When you have the right cards and you know you are going to win the hand, it’s natural to hold out and sweeten the pot the best you can, while you can. The concept is as ancient as it is common: supply and demand; buy low, sell high… all those stock economic catchphrases.
We see this in sports all the time — in baseball in particular — most notably with the high profile clients of Scott Boras.
Sure, we were all initially excited about the Matt Holliday show in St. Louis last July; but we also knew that despite its quaint, warm appeal, it would ultimately end like this:
Naturally, our nation’s elected leaders are not immune from similar Boras-like tactics.
You want that health care reform bill to pass the senate? Give my home state of Louisiana an extra $300 million in federal dough. Credit Sen. Mary Landrieu with that walk-off homerun to end the game (but not the series).
Or senators could just vote according to their constituents.
Now there’s a thought.
Somehow, considering how much money is involved in motivating people to do… well… anything, I still feel like I must be doing something wrong.
I am skilled. I am intelligent. I have good ideas and I perform well.
But I only have about $345 of liquid assets to hold me over until payday and there’s a lot of beer that must be consumed before then.
I wonder if Boras would be interested in representing a linguist.
Hate me ‘cuz I am willing to sell out, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Yep. We’re sick of seeing his smug mug behind the plate on every pitch too. So in an effort to oust his recurring playoff cameo, we sent our RSBS interns into Angel Stadium with a mega-fortified parabolic microphone to pick up all the juicy sound bytes Mr. Boras let slip during the game.
Here’s what we heard:
“Jesus, look at A-Rod. How’d I let that guy fire me again? That oughtta be my ****ing walking wallet! Mine! My lord, those labrums! Look at those labrums! Best labrums in all of sports!”
– – –
“Forget Teixera… Matt Holliday is worth Babe Ruth like money. How much money did Babe Ruth make again? What?!? $80,000 a year was his best? F*** that, Matt Holliday is so worth Mark Teixera like money.”
– – –
“Why aren’t there gold flakes on this f***ing hot dog? Huh? Who the hell brought me this hot dog without gold f***ing flakes!?!”
– – –
“Jesus Christ, I can’t understand a thing Manny says. How do you say ‘take a goddamn shower for crying out loud’ in Spanish!? Anyone? Anyone?”
– – –
“Holy s***, Alex Rodriguez… maybe I can get teams to think Ivan Rodriguez is actually Alex Rodriguez. Quick trip to the Dominican Republic, grab some stuff from A-Rod’s cousin… shoot up Pudge and BAM! He’s lookin’ like Alex did in that hot Details shoot. Did I just say that? F*** you. Don’t look at me. Watch the game.
– – –
“Ha ha. I just remembered that Adrian Beltre deal.”
– – –
“Why does everyone hate me? Because I’m rich? Because I’m powerful? Because I look like a young Rush Limbaugh? Ha! My bowel movements are worth more than these worthless fans’ entire lives put together and run through a gilding press that I bought with my money. Where the hell is my goddamned organic vodka gimlet!?! Jesus!”
– – –
“Someone remind me to tell Kyle Lohse he has really f***ing made me look bad.”
– – –
“$tra$burg… $tra$burg… $tra$burg…”
– – –
“Jesus, if I were gay, I’d totally do Alex… ha ha, but, y’know, I’d of course make a big deal of it to the press first before opting out at the last second… then, when things calmed down a bit… I’d fire that b****.”
– – –
Now you know, folks. You aren’t surprised, are you?
Hate me ‘cuz I bring it, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
Indeed, it is no secret that whilst in our bogarting college days, I brought my dubious and oft erratic colleague, Mr. Krause, up on a live stage in front of hundreds of people with the promise of providing wholesome entertainment only to publicly embarrass him by tying him down and shaving his overgrown forest of an otherwise pasty white chest.
Something tells me he hasn’t gotten over the humiliation.
Which explains his hurtful yet accurate tirade ridiculing the Julio Lugo/Chris Duncan exchange from earlier this week.
But let me step away from the GOP-like mudslinging smackdowns and ask this simple question: Can we not just call this trade what it is? Literally?
It’s crap for crap.
And no, I ain’t happy about it.
But I have found that in the darkest of hours, the most tumultuous of times, the most republican of regimes, that sniffing through all the sugar-coating just to figure out what is really going on often brings out the heartiest of laughs.
Don’t believe me?
Now if that doesn’t make you want to relive 1983 — and laugh all the way — then I don’t know what will.
I do know that giving up a top prospect (Brett Wallace) and some minor leaguers for the player formerly known as Matt Holliday (now just a shell of his former slugging self) is something that will keep the smiles off my face and torment my sleep patterns. Until I see some serious power surge protection for Albert Pujols from our new unsignable Scott Boras client, I am not going to budge from my disgusted stance. Ah, the pain… I cannot help but remember that Dan Haren and Kiko Calero trade for Mark Mulder a few years back. But hey, if this motivates Tony LaRussa to stay on with the Cardinals, then I suppose it is more than worth it… that and as long as Jesus continues to hate the Cubs.
Happy Friday! And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
*And a special RSBS cap tip to St. Louis boy, Mark Buehrle, for not only achieving perfection, but for providing me with uber-stimulation while I should have been working.
If I were making $126 million over seven years for a team that invested its future in me assuming I would be the one to anchor its pitching staff, I think I would probably focus on being a good pitcher.
But if it’s Barry Zito in that position — which it is — apparently none of that is important.
Dear readers, welcome to Zito’s World: a super hip fantasyland where losing 30 games in two seasons with a 4.84 ERA is worth every penny of that $126 million; a place where winning games in April is never a priority; an imaginative mirage where baseball meets Hollywood starlet meets aspiring rock star meets absolute shock that people would be just a wee bit vocal about his seemingly laissez faire attitude.
Look, there is no question that I have been a staunch critic of Mr. Zito. Yes, I suggested his 2007 and 2008 pitching woes were rooted in his unprofessional preoccupation with movie star female companionship. Yes, I coined the phrase “Zito Happens”. Yes, I poked fun at his childish, uncensored Tweets which made him look foolish — pining for “cab cakes”.
But none of that seems to warrant the fact that Barry Zito — the millionaire pitcher who up to this point hasn’t done a very good job of making good on that Scott Boras super-contract — blocked me from his Twitter account.
Juvenile as his actions are, I still cannot help but chuckle. I mean, here I am lowly Joe Six-Pack, unpaid aspiring writer, committed MLBlogger and informed baseball fanatic, trying to get seen, be heard, find a voice…. and Barry Zito does me the grandiose favor of reading what I write and hating it enough to block me from his 10,000 plus following.
Now, I understand that being a multi-millionaire, playing the greatest game on earth for a living and personifying the American dream is probably really hard on the soul, Barry, but come on, don’t you think you deserve it? Just a little bit maybe? Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Man up, Barry. Get over yourself. Do your job and people like me will have no choice but to shut up.
Until then, you will remain back-page fodder for the masses.
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
P.S. Barry may have blocked me from following him on Twitter, but I can still access his Tweets and laugh because they look like they’re written by a 12 year old as they tend to focus on the importance of Radiohead, farting in the shower and men layering with scarves. Nice work, Barry. Nice work.
P.S.S. Despite the aforementioned aggravation I am experiencing from Zito’s actions, I am still living a good life, visiting Washington D.C., hanging out with one of my best friends and co-author Allen, ready to see the Cardinals play the Nats tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Heading over to the White House now. Pics/Story to follow.